The group has also started its trial run of omni-channel operations in its NCR stores.
Chennai: Future Group expects its small store neighbourhood retail formats to become profitable in three to four quarters as they are already registering double-digit growth. It will retain Nilgiris and Heritage in their respective markets, while rolling out Easy Day across the country. The group has also started its trial run of omni-channel operations in its NCR stores.
Future Retail had made a few acquisitions in the past to build its small store neighbourhood format. This includes, Nilgiris, Heritage and Easy Day supermarket stores.
“Integration of our small store formats has worked well and we are into double digit growth in our small store format. I think all the hard work of the past, including membership programmes, are working well with the consumers and we are looking forward to increasing throughput in our stores,” Rakesh Biyani, Joint Managing Director of Future Group told Financial Chronicle.
The group is also confident about achieving its targets set for profitability of this format. “As we continue our journey, we should be achieving our targets. As far as the like-to-like growth is continuing we will be achieving our targets,’ he said. According to him, the small store business will become profitable in three to four quarters.
The company also has separate plans for each of the small store brands in its portfolio. The Easy Day brand, which came into the Future Group fold after the acquisition of Bharti Retail in 2015, will be the flagship brand in the small store format and will be expanded across the country.
“For us, Nilgiris is a separate business altogether and the business will continue to be the way it is. It is a franchisee-run business As far as Heritage is concerned it will remain in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and for the rest of the country our idea is to roll-out the Easy Day concept,’ said Biyani.
Future Group also had recently signed a master franchisee agreement with 7-Eleven, the US-based largest convenience store chain. Future group is putting in place the necessary infrastructure for the roll-out of 7-Eleven stores.
“When it comes to 7-eleven, it is a convenience store format and as of now we are planning to have the format initially only in Mumbai. First we are going to establish our base, our back-end infrastructure before we start to roll it forward,” he said.
The role of small stores will be pivotal in rolling out the omni-channel operations of Future Retail. The company has already started trial run on this in the NCR stores.
“We are looking at offering our very wide catalogue of products using technology platforms and connecting it with the customers at the local point of sales. That is a journey that is on. It is already in trial right now in NCR markets. The numbers are quite positive but it is still early day. We don’t have a deadline. We need to perfect our processes to deliver customer satisfaction. As and when we are there at the benchmark, we will be rolling it out in more stores,” he added.